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Prices hit ‘rock bottom’ as Sri Lanka attempts to win back tourists

Sri Lanka’s tourism sector, which remains badly impacted in the wake of the Easter Sunday attacks, has desperately tried to win back tourists by slashing prices reports Reuters.

Scrapping a rule on minimum rates for hotel stays, government promotions and special fares from the state-owned SriLankan Airlines are all part of tactics being employed to revive Sri Lanka’s “battered tourism industry” Reuters said.

“We have offered rock bottom rates for foreigners,” said the managing director of Lavanga Resort & Spa in the southern beach resort of Hikkaduwa.

“Lots of hotels have curtailed operations and shut down wings. They may have reduced or laid off (staff),” added Sanath Ukwatta, the president of the Hotels Association of Sri Lanka.

Occupancy remains around 10% versus 30% last year, with only a daily average of 1,400 to 1,500 foreign visitors on the island compared to 4,500 last year. The number is still up from 1,000 recorded immediately after the attacks, said Kishu Gomes, the head of the Tourism Bureau.

See more from Reuters here.